Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Deaf ears

I have been pre-occupied the last 2 days with concern over the amount of cats that have arrived at the local shelter either pregnant or with babies. This happens every year at this time and it seems the numbers are getting worse. They want more foster homes, and I hope they can find them,  but that surely is not the answer.
Lily & Mr. Ed

It is sadly obvious that the 'spay your cat' message is falling on deaf ears in our area. This is the country and attitudes are different here. There is not much importance put on cats. Carleton Place has Animal Control for both dogs and cats but some areas around where I live do not include cats in their bylaws. They have animal control for dogs only. Cats are treated like squirrels; disliked and ignored. Hard to believe, isn't it? In this day and age the fact that a domesticated animal can be so neglected and thought so little of.

Of course, there are many good cat owners and my business is proof of that. I see cats that are treated like spoiled children; pampered and fussed over to no end. I see happy, contented cats who are often adopted from the shelter and are given a good home for the rest of their lives. Most are what you would expect though; good companions and respected members of the family.

It does my heart good to see so many fortunate cats but I know how many sit at the shelter waiting for their turn at a chance for a happy life and then I see more kittens arriving each day and I ask myself, Why? Why isn't the message getting out there? I wish I knew. I expect it is the lack of money, lack of interest and just plain lack of concern amongst the population here.

Before we moved to this area, we lived closer to the city of Ottawa. There were strays,  but there was also a spay/neuter clinic in the city for those who could not afford the expensive vet costs, and that helped to keep the numbers down. We had one cat and she was 14 when we moved to Carleton Place. Within 2 years I had taken in 3 more that showed up on our deck, hungry and scared. More arrived and it soon dawned on me that there was a problem with the number of strays and that I needed to find a good shelter to take them to. It was then that I contacted the Lanark Animal Welfare Society and then visited them for a tour of their shelter. I soon got very involved and became a board member.. I was the Volunteer Co-ordinator for 3 years.  A group of us worked hard to raise money for the shelter and we soon were able to add a 'cat wing' that allowed the cats 'freedom' from their cages throughout the day. That alone made our hard work worthwhile. We soldiered on to get the message out to Spay and Neuter by handing out pamphlets, buttons, posters etc. because that was the only thing that was going to improve the situation.
That was many years ago and I would have hoped to see attitudes change with the majority of the population here but sadly, I haven't yet. It seems to be one step forward...three steps back.

But, you can't give up trying. The cats depend on those who care about them to help change their 'plight'. Spaying your own cat and reminding those that you know to do the same is a start. Writing letters to your local municipality to open a spay/neuter clinic is another important step. In our area it never came to life but it doesn't mean it won't in the future. We animal lovers are a stubborn bunch and we are the voice for the lost, homeless cats. Thank God for that.

Audrey will be drawing for the cat dish tonight so please leave a comment if you haven't already. Good luck!

hugs, Deb


  1. An important message. One of the things that Lizzie's foster mom, Kami, did before even finding her a home was to get her spayed as soon as it was permitted after the kittens were born. And made the new owners of the kits promise to do the same. I wish I could take them all in...

  2. Wonderful post reminding us all that so much remains to be done. It's the same situation in the place I live (Virginia, US). The attitude seems to be that cats are "a dime a dozen" and are less important than dogs. We have a nonprofit spay/neuter clinic in the county, but apparently many people don't take advantage of the low costs. Many more cats are euthanized each year in the county than dogs. It breaks my heart.

  3. It's heart breaking. I have a similar story to yours, I worked with the Cats Protection League here in England 30 years ago to get low cost spaying and believed we had progressed in the fight against unwanted cats being born. We did, but how soon people forget, and the idea of responsible ownership is not passed on. Mrs Black is a feral cat, born wild on the streets and captured when she had already had her own wild kittens which died. Yes, thank God for you and all the others who try to help the homeless forgotten cats. Minerva ~

  4. Two of my previous cats were found outside as kittens, with their eyes barely open...we had to bottle feed them...they were so little that when they were diagnosed with ringworm, we had to dunk them in iodine in coffee mugs!!! One of them lived to be 14, then passed away from kidney problems. I rescued another cat, a female who had been living under a friend's house, then had kittens. She rescued them all...but I fell in love with the beautiful took her quite awhile to settle in and allow herself to be loved...she had an immune condition that would periodically erupt her skin around her mouth...she eventually got cancer and passed away when she was about 9...I always get my cats from shelters...and right now...have two of the most loving lap kitties ever!!!

  5. The situation is just as bad here in Central New York, and most everywhere else in the US. There are many good people who help homeless animals, but there are too many who do not; do not care, do not spay/neuter and of course, much worse. It is tragic. It seems hopeless at times, but there is always the hope that it will change. Your suggestions for helping are excellent.
    Today's photos of your darling kitties are beautiful and poignant.

  6. It is so hard to see so many abandoned cats and kittens. I wish all would find a good home. Such an important message to spay and neuter your cats!!! Thanks for all you do Deb!


  7. Just the right message.

    My parents lived in the country, but felt spaying and neutering were important with cats. They took in a few who were abandoned down through the years by a passing car, and those cats became good pets, but inevitably spaying and neutering were just part of the process.

  8. Since moving to the country I've learned how bad this problem can be. I've seen a dog and her pups dumped off on the side of the road and left to starve. Just this past weekend I found two kittens in my chicken coop area that I'm sure someone just dumped on my road. I told my husband if I ever come into a lot of money, I'd like to donate some to a local vet's office so they could spay and neuter strays and pets whose owners don't have a lot of money. It is a big problem and it just breaks my heart.

  9. Great post Deb...It´s really so sad what happens to cats that live in the streets... all my nine are spayed males and females and every cat I found, took cared and gave in adoption was under that condition.
    Don´t give up your crusade Deb cause sooner or later the message will touch people hearts I support your cause from here my caotic country full of streets animals who wait for new homes that love them.

  10. Over the years I've learned how cruel and callous peoples' attitudes to animals is, especially 'throw away cats'.
    Then again, I've met lots of people who are trying to do something about it...thanks to all who try.
    Jane x

  11. I'm fully with you on this but I think mostly cat-lovers read your blog and you probably are preaching to the converted!LOL! But,I think cat lovers are a bit fearful of taking in too many cats as the need seems to be endless, with new kittens being born and people thinking cats can fend for themselves when they want to move or something. I find it IS emotionally hard to help and not want to take every cat home to love. All we can do is try to do our bit to help either with money or shelter/feral cat help. I think all who want to are working on solutions but I doubt there will ever be a final solution - people are people and cats are harder to monitor than dogs. I know it breaks the heart of people who love animals and cats. There really is no way to alleviate this type of pain. I know a person in Japan on a blog who will actually leave the house for hours if a stray turns up in hopes it will go away before she comes home. She already has 6 strays, and Japan is even worse about dumping animals and not having enough shelters than North America. She says she's phobic about seeing cardboard boxes along side the streets because they could very possibly contain kittens or puppies. I guess all we can ever do is to do our bit and accept our limits despite the pain and just try not to beat ourselves up because the problem IS hopeless and endless. I too wish there was some type of better solution or answer, but there just isn't. Your blog is lovely and helps share the love for these beautiful animals. Every little bits helps.

  12. The spay or neuter doesn't seem to apply here in our area neither . We must have years of generations of feral cats . See we have mostly Mennonites that live here and they do not believe in any of that for dogs either and that's where the problem lye's I have seen most of these 30 cats or more here with at least 2 or more kittens ,it is a crying shame ! When I lived on the farm there were cats and dogs dumped off ! That breaks my heart ! Very important to have all your pets spayed or neutered if not in a controlled breeding . Lovely photos ! Have a good day !